Drama

Introduction

Our subject area seeks to develop the following in all our students:Vision Statement:  Drama is a practical based subject that explores texts, theatre practitioners and theatrical styles and genres.  We aim to give the students a wide knowledge of theatre and the importance it has in developing life skills as well as more specialised subject knowledge.  The students get to explore important, hard hitting issues through the means of performance work.  We want to give our students every opportunity to develop their confidence and challenge their creativity.  We have a strong area and have had lots of successful performances and work hard to continue our success in the future.

The confidence to communicate and work creatively within a team of peers by:

  • Regularly working in small groups in lessons
  • Creating short pieces of performance work with the groups they are put in
  • Being encouraged to take on roles from a range of different performance pieces

A creative approach when developing interesting theatre performances by:

  • Taking part in a wide range of drama workshops in lessons
  • Exploring a variety of theatre skills, techniques, style and practitioners
  • Being encouraged to use imaginative theatre techniques when rehearsing performance work

The confidence to stand up and perform short pieces in front of an audience by:

  • Regularly performing work back to the class during lessons
  • For older students – performing work to larger audiences including friends and family

A critical nature that is able to evaluate strengths and weaknesses by:

  • Evaluating own and others performance work
  • By taking part in written activities that develop critical and analytical writing skills
  • Listening to regular feedback from teachers or peers that will help them improve their work
  • Areas of study covered in KS3: Students in KS3 will cover both devised and scripted pieces of theatre. Some of the play scripts covered will be; The terrible fate of Humpty Dumpty, Blood Brothers and Hunting of the Snark.  Students will study the themes involved in the plays and will take on roles and create short performance work.  They will be expected to learn lines for these performances.  Students will also get the opportunity to make their own plays up based on stimuli and themes offered including fictional pieces such as the haunted manor house and pieces based on real life events such as the Aberfan disaster and the Derek Bently case.  Finally, they will be introduced to some of the key practitioners studied at GCSE level including Stanislavski, Brecht and Artaud.
  • Homework expectations: homework at KS3 will be set every other week and should take a minimum of 30 mins to complete depending on the homework set. Homework for drama will include, written research, creative moodbaords, creating costume designs and collecting costume for performance work, learning lines for scripted pieces of work and sourcing appropriate sound/music for performance work
  • Trips and Visits: we try to run reward trip to London to see a West end Musical (in 2018, we took 45 students to see Matilda). We also encourage keen drama students to come and watch our older option students perform their exam pieces.
  • Out of class opportunities (Clubs): we run KS3 drama club and we run whole school Musical rehearsals.

How can I support my child at home?

Encourage them to take part in drama, even if their confidence is low, it’s a great way to develop confidence and key life skills for the future.  Help them learn their lines at home in preparation for final performances. Check that their written homework is completed neatly on A4 paper.

  • Areas of study covered in KS4: We study and perform the script Hard to Swallow.  This is in preparation for the section A in the written paper.  We get the students to perform this to a live audience to build their confidence, get an understanding of their current performance grades and to give them a practical understanding of how to put the piece together to increase the amount they can discuss in the exam.  They will also study the Woman in Black and will learn how to evaluate the performance as part of their written exam.  Students also have 2 performances that will be assessed. A devised piece that the students will create themselves based on a Stimulus of their choice (4 stimuli are given and the students choose their favourite piece to work from). The 2nd performance is a scripted piece.
  • Specification details (web address): We run the Educas 1-9 GCSE for Drama https://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/drama-and-theatre/gcse/
  • Course component breakdown: the course is broken down to 3 components.
Component 1 Devised unit: marked out of 60 - 40% of course Component 2 Scripted unit: is marked out of 60 – 20% of course Component 3 written exam: is marked out of 60 – 40% of course
  • 15 marks on a devised performance that the students create themselves based on a stimulus of their choice
  • 30 marks on a written portfolio that accompanies the performance they create
  • 15 marks on a final evaluation of the success of the piece.
  • This is marked by the teachers and sent off for moderation
  • This is a purely practical unit
  • Students will be put into groups and given a script based on their performance strengths
  • They will need to cut the play to the appropriate time and perform to an audience
  • They will have to complete a 150 word form which is sent to the examiner before the performance
  • Section A of the paper is worth 45 marks
  • They will answer questions on the play Hard to Swallow
  • Section B of the paper is worth 15 marks
  • This is a reflective piece of writing on a live theatre performance
  • We take them to see the Woman in Black
  • Homework expectations: homework will be set regularly.  They will need to spend a lot of time learning lines.  This will be an ongoing expectation throughout the course as they cannot perform with a script!  Written homework will be set approx. once a fortnight.  This should take the students approximately one hour to complete.  It needs to be presented neatly on A4 paper and can be word processed unless stated otherwise by the class teacher.
  • Trips and visits: We take the students to see the Woman in Black in London.  We also try to run other trips to see as much theatre as possible as it increases the students’ knowledge and creativity which gives them the best chance at achieving high grades in their practical work.  We also try to arrange visiting theatre companies to run workshops where possible

How can I boost my child’s GCSE grade?

Students need to be dedicate team players.  They should attend all trips and workshops that are arranged and, where possible, attend as much theatre experiences as possible.  They are encouraged to (and really should) attend the older year groups performances at the school to increase their knowledge and give them ideas for their own future performances.  They should note that there is a lot of written to the course!  They need to be prepared for the amount of written.  They need to hand work in on time and then use the feedback offered by the teacher to make improvements in their writing.  They need to see teachers quickly and ask for support when completing written work if they are struggling or unsure of the quality or style of written that is expected.

How can I support my child at home?

Help them learn their lines at home in preparation for final performances. Check that their written homework is completed neatly on A4 paper and that they have sued the support materials to complete homework to a high standard.  Most written homework should be completed in essay style using full sentences and paragraphs – not bullet points unless stated otherwise by their class teacher.

Recommended GCSE websites:

  • BBC bitesize, Frantic Assembly website, Woman in Black website, Educas website for hard to swallow material

Recommended GCSE texts or revision guides:

  • Hard to Swallow, Woman in Black, some of the texts we use for component 2 are as follows:
  • Find me, Hedda Gabler, Things I know to be true, Blue Remembered Hills, Educating Rita, Stags and Hens, Tissue, Face, and of the national theatre connections plays from the year 2000 onwards.